Core task study examines all civil service functions

POSTED: 08/15/13 12:54 PM

St. Maarten – The core task study the government has initiated could result in outsourcing certain services, but how all this is going to work out did not immediately become clear at yesterday’s Council of Ministers press briefing.

“The last thing we want to do is look at the salaries of our civil servants,” Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Sarah Wescot-Williams said. “But to be able to maintain those salary-levels we must operate differently.”

Finance Minister Maarten Hassink said that salaries will take up more than 40 percent of the budget this year – a situation he described as “worrisome.”

According to the 2013 budget, the country currently employs 1,800 civil servants. Before country status that number hovered around 1,100. Are there maybe too many civil servants on the payroll?

Wescot-Williams: “Overall we are not there yet with the numbers we need for the government organization. Over the years we have discussed the necessity of all functions, but we also have to look at the changes in the government organization. We are thinking about merging departments and about outsourcing certain services. It is in movement in terms of total numbers.”

The Prime Minister also pointed out that when St. Maarten obtained country status it merges the civil service of the island territory with the country-functions it took over from the former Netherlands Antilles. Adding the police force to the national payroll is just one example of this process that partly explains the ballooning numbers.

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